In 2010 Norway, together with Belgium and Spain, took the initiative to establish a Joint Programming Initiative (JPI) on marine research. Norwegian Kathrine Angell-Hansen is the director of the JPI Oceans secretariat.
Arvid Hallén was the host of the official opening of the JPI Oceans office in Brussels. (Photo: Vivian Hertz)
The Joint Programming Initiative Healthy and Productive Seas and Oceans (JPI Oceans) is the first JPI to have dedicated office space in Brussels.
State Secretary Kristine Gramstad of the Norwegian Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs officially opened the office. In her remarks she said, “Utilising the potential of the seas and oceans to solve global challenges relating to the environment, food supply and renewable energy entails tremendous responsibility. Therefore the management of our seas and oceans must be firmly rooted in sound, research-based knowledge.”
In his speech, Director General of the Research Council of Norway Arvid Hallén focused on the initiative’s significance for the development of the European Research Area as a whole. He said, “I hope and expect that the JPI Oceans office will become a natural gathering place for European players in marine and maritime policy and management, research, and technology development in Brussels.”
Starting point for strong European cooperation
The European Commission, too, welcomes the establishment of the JPI Oceans office. According to John Bell, Head of Cabinet of the European Commissioner for Research and Innovation, the new office illustrates the firm commitment of the JPI’s member countries.
Kathrine Angell-Hansen, Director of the JPI Oceans secretariat in Brussels. (Photo: Vivian Hertz)
“I hope that this is the beginning of a strong cooperation process between the countries involved and with the European Commission, which can help deliver a thriving European marine economy and healthier seas and oceans,” he stated.
JPI Oceans currently has 17 active member countries. The secretariat in Brussels comprises nine employees from six countries and is administered from Norway, with assistance from the Flanders Marine Institute in Belgium.